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Six Tips for Legacy Planning

August 19, 2016
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Legacy planning is a part of the financial preparation process that seldom gets enough attention. Individuals are taught from an early age the importance of a legacy plan. When you ask your friends or coworkers about if they have a legacy plan, chances are that they’ll say something to the effect of “Sure, I’m all set.” That is likely not the case if they sat down to really evaluate their existing legacy plan. A successful legacy plan is not something you draw up at one time in your life and never touch again. Instead, you should review your legacy plan every few years to ensure that you avoid any problems and make necessary adjustments. If you are looking for some guidance with your legacy plan, our team at Dunncreek Advisors is here to help!

Prevent Problems Down the Road

Here at Dunncreek Advisors, we feel that these 6 tips will help you with your legacy planning to make sure that issues won't arise down the road:

1. Regularly Review - Life changes over the years. Some individuals that you thought were important in your life may not be the same individuals ten years from now. That is why it is very important to review your legacy plan every three to five years. This will also allow you to ensure that your plan is compliant with new rules that are put into place over the years.

2. Evaluate Life Events - During your life, there will be big events that may occur, such as the birth of a child, marriage, divorce or death. If any of these types of events occur, it is important to review your legacy plan soon after the event and make adjustments accordingly. Financial events are important as well. Make adjustments during the high times or low times of your business.

3. Review Beneficiaries - Designating beneficiaries for things like your life insurance, 401k or IRAs are extremely important. Be sure that the beneficiaries tied to these plans are consistent with the beneficiaries designated for your legacy plan so that all of your financial investments are consistent.

4. Review Titles on Your Property - The last thing you want is for the title of one of your properties to be incorrect. This can cause delays in probate for the entire estate, which could have a devastating impact on the benefits of your legacy plan.

5. Review the Gifting Process - If you are regularly gifting and reaching the annual gift exclusion amount, see if you can speed up the pace of gifting to provide more help to those heirs without harming your legacy plan.

6. Maintain Corporate Processes - Properly maintaining accounting books and records is very important in the eyes of the IRS. Your legacy plan needs to clearly lay out the plan for the younger generation so that the mission of the family business is not threatened down the road. Setting up an annual family meeting to review the legacy plan is one of the best things that you can do! It is important to remember that your legacy plan should be reviewed and updated regularly.

At Dunncreek Advisors, we have a passion for helping individuals maintain their legacy plan so that nothing comes as a surprise, and future problems are minimized. If this article has you starting to consider your own situation, get in touch with my office at I always enjoy meeting with people who are starting to figure out their retirement plans. Dunncreek Advisors does not provide legal or tax advice, nor is this article intended to do so.